In 1972, Leonard Unes founded the company which bears his name—the Leonard Unes Printing Company. Still running strong today, the business on Spring Street specializes in commercial, political and personal printing services. But this lifelong Peorian has made quite a name for himself outside of the printing world, serving from 1978 to 1998 as a Peoria City Councilman, where he assisted in major development efforts such as the construction of the Peoria Civic Center. In addition, as an Army veteran, Unes has devoted himself to the American Legion, eager to help his fellow vets whenever possible.
A first-generation Lebanese-American, Unes got involved with Peoria’s Itoo Society at an early age, helping his father at the annual Itoo Supper and attending various meetings. He went on to become president of the Society, and now serves on its board of directors. As the Itoo Society marks its centennial anniversary this year, Unes and his wife will celebrate 52 years of marriage—“quite a long time!” he exclaims happily. The couple has four children and 11 grandchildren spread out across Illinois.
- Most humbling moment: When I took one step forward and was sworn into the U.S. Army.
- Which talent would you most like to have? To play the piano like my sister, Lorraine Shadid.
- What would you say to your 20-year-old self? Go to college.
- On what occasion do you lie? About how many Oreos I enjoy!
- What are you most proud of? My family.
- Who are your favorite authors? Dave Barry, George Will (and sometimes, Phil Luciano)
- Have you ever been told you look like somebody famous? Yes, Colin Powell.
- Last novel read: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell.
- What’s the last movie you went to see? Lone Survivor with my son-in-law and grandson.
- Favorite artists: Norman Rockwell and my granddaughter, Katie Unes. a&s